Pear Spice Muffins…Another Snack Option

I had few portable baked snacks and a few bosc pears so I figured it was time for a new muffin recipe. This is a riff off a recipe out of Annalise Robert’s cookbook; Gluten-Free Baking Classics. It is  similar to my recipe for apple nut muffins that I created from her banana muffin recipe. If I had to have just one GF cookbook hers would be the one for me.

Do use a fairly firm pear; I used a bosc which is naturally great for baking but almost any firm pear will do. Notice I didn’t say “hard”. Nope to that; not gonna taste great.  Don’t chop them super fine or big; 1/3 inch dice is good.

I always enjoy eating a muffin still warm out of the oven. It is smart to freeze any you won’t eat in 2 days; ziplock freezer bag works great.  They make super snacks.  These  muffins are kinda delicate; if you want to take them on a hike or car ride put them in a plastic food box – the rigid sides will keep your muffins safe from crushing.

Pear Spice Muffins              

2 cups brown rice flour mix (see below)

2/3 c granulated sugar (can use coconut palm sugar: just increase milk by 2 Tbsp.)

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

skimpy 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1  1/2  c chopped firm pear; peel and core! (about 2 pears)

½ c chopped walnuts

2 large eggs beaten

½ c milk, 1 or 2 percent

½ c canola oil

DIRECTIONS:  Heat oven to 375, placing the rack in middle of oven.  Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.  One batch makes 14-16 muffins.

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer or big bowl

Add pear chunks and walnuts; stir to coat them with dry mix

Combine milk and oil,  Beat in eggs.  Add liquids to big bowl; stir until blended.

Fill muffin pans 2/3 full.  I use a big serving spoon and fill it about half way to dump in each muffin space. Sprinkle the top with a bit of raw old fashioned oatmeal; 2-3 Tbsp. should do it or try  cinnamon sugar.

Bake 20-24 min until golden brown. I used my convection setting and did them for 17 minutes. Perfect. Do not over bake or they will taste dry.  Rest five minutes and then remove from the pans and cool on a rack.

Freezes well for up to 3 weeks.  Keeps in fridge (well wrapped) a few days.

Brown Rice Flour Mix base mix
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin makes homemade baked goods even better tasting. A few days ago I made a batch of pumpkin muffins; they turned out nice.  I did the upgrade version: mini chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.  Really amazing flavors and great texture in the resulting muffins!

This recipe is my version using the banana muffin recipe from Annalise Roberts’s wonderful cookbook: Gluten Free Baking Classics as my jump off place.  They are easy to make, perfect in texture and totally yummy. I used coconut palm sugar; low on the hypoglycemic scale which is great for me.  I do love to sprinkle the raw muffins with chunky sugar before baking.  I sprinkled them this time with oatmeal but I do love to use coarse sugar too.

I freeze any I won’t eat in 2 days; in a Ziplock freezer bag.  They make perfect snacks. My grandson loves them as much as I do. Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (14 muffins)

2 cups brown rice flour mix (see below)

2/3 c granulated sugar or coconut palm sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp. ginger

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 c packed canned pumpkin

½ cup mini chocolate chips

½ cup chopped walnuts

2 lg eggs beaten

½ c milk, 1 or 2 percent plus 2 extra tbsp. if you use the palm sugar

½ c canola oil

Heat oven to 350 degrees, placing the rack in middle of oven.  Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.  One batch makes 12-14 muffins depending on how large you want them.

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer or big bowl. Add nuts and then pumpkin puree, stirring into the dry ingredients. Combine milk and oil, beat in eggs.  Add liquids to big bowl; stir until fully blended.

Fill muffin pans 2/3 full.  Bake 22-23 min until golden brown. Do not over bake or they get dry.  I baked these on the convection setting of my new range; done in 17 minutes. Rest for five minutes and then remove from the pans using a fork, cool on a rack. Freezes well for up to 3 weeks.

Brown Rice Flour Mix mix
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Originally published in 2016; minor updates to recipe as to using a convection oven.

 

Russian Teacakes…Even Better Gluten Free!

These miniature snowball cookies were the foundation of the Christmas cookie baking when I was a kid.  They were always made every year, sometimes a second batch had to be baked as we ate them all before the big day!  You can use pecans but I rarely do.  Some people call them Mexican Wedding Cookies but we called them Russian Teacakes. For me it is not Christmas without these cookies so I was extremely pleased to find a great gf recipe. My sisters think they are better tasting than the old regular recipe!

They are easy to make with not too many ingredients.  Be careful lifting them off the pan as they are delicate until fully cooled. The texture and subtle flavor of this GF version is actually superior to the wheat flour recipe of my childhood.  They are delightful with a cup of tea or coffee.  My family clamors for extras to take home!

If you like them really sweet sprinkle on extra powdered sugar, less of it makes them perfect for those who are not used to too much sweetness. No one will ever know they are GF and you will get complements on their flavor and texture.  This recipe is from Annalise Roberts’ fabulous Gluten-Free Baking Classics with minor changes by me. Enjoy: they are rather addictive cookies!

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Not the prettiest picture but trust me, these are incredibly tasty cookies!

Russian Teacakes

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

6 tbsp. powdered (confectioners) sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups brown rice mix (recipe below)

1 tsp xanthan gum

1 cup walnuts or pecans chopped fine

Confectioner’s sugar for sprinkling

Directions: beat butter and powdered sugar in large bowl of stand mixer until light and creamy.  Add vanilla, beat in.  Add flour and gum, mix in until well blended, stir in walnuts until distributed.  Chill dough for an hour.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Form dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in powdered sugar if you like.  Place on cookie sheet lightly sprayed with Pam (not the baker’s version that has flour).  Place about 1 ½ inches apart.  Bake 13 to 15 minutes until lightly browned on top and bottom.  Cool on pan for 5 min and then sprinkle with lots of powdered sugar before placing on wire rack to cool. I like to sift it onto the cookies so the coating is even.  You could put a sheet of wax paper under the wire rack to catch the excess sugar.  Store well wrapped: in airtight container, in fridge for a week or freezer for up to 30 days.  You could store unbaked dough in fridge for a few days.

Brown Rice Flour Mix base mix  (same as King Arthur gf blend)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch *not potato flour

1/3 c tapioca flour

 

Note: First posted December 2014 on my blog.  Minor revisions have been made since then.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

I don’t put pumpkin in my tea/latte or ice cream or candy as I see others indulging in but pumpkin does make homemade baked goods even better tasting. A few weeks ago I made a batch of pumpkin muffins, new recipe for me: they turned out nice.  But I wanted to upgrade them in this latest attempt so I added mini chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.  Really amazing flavors and great texture in the resulting muffins!

This recipe is my own version using the banana muffin recipe from Annalise Roberts’s wonderful cookbook: Gluten Free Baking Classics as my jump off place.  They are easy to make, perfect in texture and totally yummy. I used coconut palm sugar; low on the hypoglycemic scale which is great for me.  I do love to sprinkle the raw muffins with chunky sugar before baking.  Yes, I get the irony there but I only put a few grains and they look so pretty!  Streusel would be nice but actually adds more sugar and calories than my bits of fancy big sugar.

I freeze any I won’t eat in 2 days; in a Ziplock freezer bag.  They make perfect snacks.

chocolate-chip-pumpkin-muffins-011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (14 muffins)

2 cups brown rice flour mix (see below)

2/3 c granulated sugar or coconut palm sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp. ginger

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 c packed canned pumpkin

½ cup mini chocolate chips

½ cup chopped walnuts

2 lg eggs beaten

½ c milk, 1 or 2 percent plus 2 extra tbsp. if you use the palm sugar

½ c canola oil

Heat oven to 350 degrees, placing the rack in middle of oven.  Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.  One batch makes 12-14 muffins depending on how large you want them.

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer or big bowl. Add nuts and then pumpkin puree, stirring into the dry ingredients. Combine milk and oil, beat in eggs.  Add liquids to big bowl; stir until fully blended.

Fill muffin pans 2/3 full.  Bake 22-23 min until golden brown. Do not over bake or they get dry.  Remove immediately from the pans and cool on a rack. Freezes well for up to 3 weeks.

Brown Rice Flour Mix mix
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

 

Sour Cream Cinnamon Cake

I am no longer a fan of the usual custom of the big fluffy iced birthday cake.  I have sure had some bad cake luck over the years, even when I COULD bake with regular flour!  So, I had a birthday cake to make this weekend and I went a different direction. I made a cinnamon walnut apple cake.  Used that recipe nearly three years ago, I wonder why it took so long to make it again.  Addictively flavored with cinnamon and chopped walnuts. The thin layer of apples adds moisture and a delicate touch of apple. Yumm!

It is from my favorite cookbook by Annalise Roberts; Gluten Free Baking Classics.  To be honest it is more of a coffee cake but oh what a sweet and luscious treat it is; I swear you could feed it to anyone and they would enjoy it.

Easy mixing up of dry ingredients, beat the eggs and sugar with electric mixer and combine all.  Layer it up with thin slivers of raw apple and the nut/sugar mix.  In all it has about a half cup less sugar than most birthday cakes and if you frost the cake you are adding a lot more calories than my simple glaze.  The cake is fine without glaze but I felt it added a lovely finish and great complexity to the flavors of this treat.

I didn’t take many pictures; my fingers were sticky with dough and I really had to just put the cake together; my assistant was only 4 years old and he was more important to me than taking pictures when I made this the other day. Next time I will take shots as I put it together and add them to this posting.

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Sour Cream Coffee Cake

½ cup chopped walnuts

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 ½ cups sugar, divided

1 medium apple; peeled, cored and cut in 8 wedges and each in 8 slices.

2 cups brown rice flour mix

1 ½ tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp. xanthan gum

½ tsp. salt

2 large eggs, room temp

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream, room temp

1/3 cup canola oil

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put rack in center of oven.  Spray a 9 inch tube pan with removable bottom with cooking spray.

Mix walnuts, cinnamon and half cup of the sugar in a small bowl.

Whisk rest of dry ingredients in a small bowl.

Beat eggs in the large bowl of an electric mixer until well blended; 2-3 minutes.  Add the rest of the sugar one tbsp. at a time beating well until creamy colored and fluffy. Add vanilla, sour cream, oil and flour mixture and then beat at low speed for 30 seconds, medium low if your mixer has a very low speed, should be well blended. Spread half that batter in the pan, top with apple bits and half the nut/sugar mix.  Spread rest of batter on top evenly; I plop small bits trying not to get too much in any one area. Cover with rest of sugar/walnut mixture. Don’t worry if it doesn’t seem even; it will rise and form into a cohesive cake.

Bake 50 minutes (Do NOT open until 45 min) until cake tester comes out clean.  Cool in pan on a cake rack for 20 minutes.  Cut down with a thin bread knife around the outside and the center tube and remove from pan; cool completely before slicing underneath to release the cake from the tube.

I made a simple glaze to drizzle over the top; 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 2-3 tbsp. cream or milk.  Add the vanilla and 2 tbsp of milk; add more milk to thin it to the consistency that will allow you to drizzle from a spoon onto the cake.  Slice with a bread knife for perfect serving of this yummy treat.

Brown Rice Flour Mix base mix
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Russion Teacake Cookies

These miniature snowball cookies were the foundation of the Christmas cookie baking when I was a kid. They were always made every year, sometimes a second batch had to be baked as we ate the whole first one before the big day! You can use pecans but I rarely do. Some people call them Mexican Wedding Cookies but we called them Russian Teacakes. For me it is not Christmas without these cookies so I was extremely pleased to find a great gluten free recipe.

They are easy to make with not too many ingredients. Be careful lifting them off the pan as they are delicate until fully cooled. The texture and subtle flavor of this GF version is actually superior to the wheat flour recipe of my childhood. They are delightful with a cup of tea or coffee. My family clamors for extras to take home!

xmas cookies 006

If you like them really sweet sprinkle on extra powdered sugar, less of it makes them perfect for those who are not used to too much sweetness. No one will ever know they are GF and you will get complements on their flavor and texture. This recipe is from Annalise Roberts’ fabulous Glutin-Free Baking Classics with minor changes by me. Enjoy: they are rather addictive cookies!

Russian Teacakes

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
6 tbsp. powdered (confectioners) sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups brown rice mix (recipe below)
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 cup walnuts or pecans chopped fine
Confectioner’s sugar for sprinkling

Beat butter and powdered sugar in large bowl of stand mixer until light and creamy. Add vanilla, beat in. Add flour and gum, mix in until well blended, stir in walnuts until distributed. Chill dough for an hour.

Form into 1 inch balls. Roll in confectioners sugar, place on cookie sheet lightly sprayed with Pam (not the bakers version that has flour). Place about 1 ½ inches apart. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned on top and bottom. If you make them on the large size they will need to bake an extra minute or two. Cool on pan for 5 min and then sprinkle with more powdered sugar before placing on wire rack to cool. Store well wrapped: in airtight container, in fridge for a week or two or freezer for up to 30 days. You could store unbaked dough in fridge for up to three days.
Brown Rice Flour Mix base mix
2 c brown rice flour
2/3 c potato starch
1/3 c tapioca flour

Note: First posted December 2014 – on this blog.

Apple Streusel Muffins: Absolutely Sensational!

Fall is the best time for fresh apples and I have a peck of apples right from Bechdolt’s orchards so I figure it is time for a tasty batch of apple muffins. Yes. Muffins. I especially love them because they save me money and I avoid processed foods like the snack bars I used to eat every day. Plus muffins are dead easy to make; no shaping, no tricky steps; dump, mix and spoon into the muffin tin.  Couldn’t be easier…. But, most of all they taste fantastic compared to all those commercial snack bars.

This is another great recipe out of Annalise Robert’s cookbook; Gluten-Free Baking Classics.  It is very similar to her blueberry nut muffins. If I had to have just one GF cookbook hers would be the one for me. I use so many of the recipes and her quick breads are particularly outstanding! The apple streusel muffins did not disappoint: light, crunchy top with a delicate cinnamon apple flavor inside.  I put some golden raisins in my muffins but if you are not a fan; leave them out.  They are my favorite addition to this easy to make treat.

apples

Do use a baking apple; not red delicious which are solely an eating apple and don’t use a extra firm one like the tasty Granny Smith; they won’t get soft enough during the rapid baking of these tasty little treats.  Most any other baking apple will work perfect for these muffins. I like to get a peck of mixed baking apples from Bechdolt’s Orchard: can use them in lots of recipes.

 apple muffins 001

I always enjoy eating a muffin still warm out of the oven. It is smart to freeze any you won’t eat in 2 days; ziplock freezer bag works great.   These apple muffins are kinda delicate; if you want to take them on a hike or car ride put them in a plastic bin – rigid sides will keep them safe from crushing.

apple muffins 002

One fat apple muffin…streusel closeup!

Apple Streusel Muffins

2 cups brown rice flour mix (see below)

2/3 c granulated sugar (I love using coconut palm sugar)

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1 c chopped apple; peel and core the apple!

½ c chopped walnuts

¼ cup golden raisins (optional)

2 large eggs beaten

½ c milk, 1 or 2 percent

½ c canola oil

Topping: Mix the following in a bowl, make sure the butter is in tiny pebbles; use your fingertips to blend. Do this before you mix up the muffins.

½ cup rolled oats

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tbsp. almond meal

1½ tbsp. butter

¼ tsp. cinnamon

Directions: Heat oven to 375, placing the rack in middle of oven.  Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.  One batch makes 12-16 muffins.

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer or big bowl

Add apple, raisins and walnuts; stir to coat them with dry mix

Combine milk and oil, remove 1 tbsp of combined liquid and ditch it unless you are using the coconut palm sugar; no need to then.  You might need an extra tablespoon of milk actually.  Beat in eggs.  Add liquids to big bowl; stir until blended.

Fill muffin pans 2/3 full.  I use a big serving spoon filled about half way to dump in each muffin space. Sprinkle the top with streusel mix or cinnamon sugar. Bake 20-22 min until golden brown. Do not over bake or they will taste dry.  Remove in 4-5 minutes from the pans and cool on a rack.  I use a fork and pry them out one at a time to keep any of the yummy streusel from falling off. Freezes well for up to 3 weeks.  Keeps in fridge (well wrapped) two or three days.

Brown Rice Flour Mix base mix (same as King Arthur gf flour)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour